Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Interracial Marriage: Questions and Support with John Nunes and Pam and Tom

The 1960’s film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? opened conversation about interracial dating and marriage in circles where the topic hadn’t been discussed much until then. Now, according to a report from the Pew Research Center, one in seven new marriages in the U.S. is interracial or interethnic. Those stats would seem to tell us it’s more acceptable these days. Or is it? We explore the tensions and the benefits of interracial relationships this week with John Nunes, president and CEO of the worldwide humanitarian organization, Lutheran World Relief, and with the parents of a daughter in a successful interracial marriage.

My guests are well informed, open about the facts, their personal experiences, feelings and the struggles and successes of their own race relations. This energetic visit brings a whole new perspective to the word “interracial” and on how people -- all created by the same God and who can share blood transfusions -- have more in common than not in common!

This candid show can help us examine our own feelings about interracial relationships as we hear how it’s approached by and affects those involved -- both individuals and families. How much do race and ethnicity matter in your everyday life? And what about interracial marriage? How do your feelings play into that mix, so to speak? Although interracial marriage is on the rise in the U.S., it still remains highly unusual. Unusual enough that interracial couples face some added stressors for their relationship to succeed. I hope you’ll join us to look at interracial marriage, as well as some very basic race issues. John Nunes’ work takes him around the world and immerses him in global issues. Hence he is able to articulate observations that can help us better appreciate and understand the globalization of America, which is happening whether we want it to or not! You’ll be surprised at how he discovered he’s “a person of color”!

Tom and Pam have three adult children and live in Ann Arbor, Mich., a multi-cultural community. One of their daughters opened the door to their understanding of interracial relationships when she became friends with and then dated a person of another race. They share this story with her permission, BTW! The couple tells us when they included neighborhood kids from different races in their family events, it came as no surprise the kids would all get along, paying no attention to differences among themselves. We’ll hear how that relationship developed and continues. How do they deal with their uniqueness as a bi-racial couple? What about grandchildren?

I appreciate, respect and learn from Nunes’ theological insights on the question “Is there even such a thing as race? How does he propose we engage for success in getting along together?” The Pew Study, published February 2010, quotes scholars who say examining interracial marriages is important, as they act as a barometer of sorts for race relations and cultural assimilation. And what again is The Golden Rule when it comes to relationships? What does God have to do with interracial issues, anyway? The Bible makes it clear God holds us accountable for how we treat each other. Hopefully, this show can help us get on track with that in the area of race relations!

No comments: